New statistics from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, co-conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, have revealed a veritable mixed bag when it comes to children and tobacco.
It’s regarded as giving the most accurate picture of tobacco use amongst children aged 11-18 in the US, providing a national snapshot as well as pointing to growing trends.
They key findings of the report are:
- In 2014, one in four high school students (typically aged 15-18) and one in 13 middle school students (11-14) reported being tobacco users (using one or more tobacco products a month).
- Of the then-current 4.6 million youth tobacco users, 2.4 million reported using e-cigarettes
- Between 2011 and 2014, the percentage of students reporting current use of cigarettes decreased from 15.8% to 9.2%
- On the other hand, in the same time period, hookah use doubled and e-cigarette use increased more dramatically. E-cigarette use surpassed the use of every other tobacco product.
- In 2014, nearly 2.2 million students reported to using two or more tobacco products
Dr Benjamin J. Apelberg, branch chief of epidemiology at FDA’s Centre for Tobacco Products, said: “One thing the study confirms for us is that the tobacco product landscape has changed dramatically. Middle and high school kids are using novel products like e-cigarettes and hookahs in unprecedented numbers, and many are using more than one kind of tobacco product.”
FDA epidemiologist, Catherine Corey, added: “While we’re glad to see cigarette smoking decreasing in middle and high school youth, the increase in the use of e-cigarettes and hookahs undermines progress in reducing tobacco use among kids.
These latest findings serve to strengthen existing scientific evidence that novel tobacco products like e-cigarettes and hookah have great appeal to youth, and that comprehensive youth prevention efforts that focus on reducing all forms of tobacco use are needed.”